The widow of long-time Grace Brethren pastor, Russ Ogden, died early this morning. Her obituary is posted below, as shared by her family on Facebook.
Betty woke up in heaven, Friday, August 9, the morning of her 94th birthday. She passed from here to glory quietly in her sleep. To many of us she was mom, grandma, and great-grandma, sister, Aunt Betty, cousin, friend, or neighbor. But to all of us she was the incomparable “Betty Ruth.”
She touched everyone in her presence with her sincere caring and her unexpected humor. She had the gift of hospitality; she also loved to counsel women through God’s Word. Her husband, William Russell Ogden, preceded her in death in 2013. We, her children: James Russell Ogden, Joan and (Dan) Snively, David Edward and (Christine Ryerson) Ogden, and Carol Beth, are most grateful for the love she gave and the importance she placed on knowing and walking with the Lord.
Betty was born in Highland Park, Ill. She was the youngest of three children born to George and Laura Ralph. She had two brothers, Gordon, deceased in 1949, and George, retired from ministry. Betty was a secondary teacher of English. She taught in Ohio and Colorado. Many young people were influenced toward Christ because of her open conversations with them. She ministered to families across the country as a pastor’s wife and women’s ministries leader. She dreamed of a Christian education for children in the Washington/Maryland area. Lanham Christian School was the result of her vision and the prayers of the Lanham Grace Brethren Church. She served God as the school’s headmaster for many years until her retirement.
Very little more needs to be said about Betty because those of you who knew her, knew her well. She was passionate about people and people were passionate about her.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you, each one, for what you meant to her. Your friendship energized her and made her life meaningful.
A very small, family, graveside service will be held this Sunday. It was our mother’s sincere wish that she be remembered as the fully-alive, fun-loving, wacky and wonderful person that you all knew. She preferred not to be memorialized for her death but for her life. She wanted all funeral, travel, or flower expenses to be instead used for further helping the work of Christian education.
Those who would like to give tribute to her are encouraged to send a check in honor of Betty Ogden to:
8400 Goodluck Rd
Lanham, MD 20706
The trustees will keep a list of names so that we, her children, can be blessed by your giving and thank you for honoring her in this way.
Our heartfelt appreciation to all of you as you remember us in your prayers during the coming days.
Jim, Joan, David, and Carol